Bootleg booze ring jailed over £174m tax fraud
Source: The Spirits Business
by Melita Kiely
23rd December, 2015
The leader of a criminal bootleg alcohol ring in Prague has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after evading Kc 6.4 billion (approximately £174.2m) in taxes.
Eight men were charged altogether in the case, with seven receiving prison sentences and one receiving a suspended sentence.
Radek Brezina, was named as the man behind the illicit alcohol gang, and received the longest prison sentence from the court in Olomouc.
His brother and assistant, Tomás Brezina, was handed a four-year prison sentence as well as property forfeiture, as reported by Prague Post.
He was treated as a “collaborating defendant” after agreeing to cooperate with the police in their investigations and aiding developments against the rest of the ring.
Another member, Lubomír Kalác, received a prison sentence of nine years and two months as well as property forfeiture, while Radek Mensik, an execxutive at the company that supplied the illegal alcohol to the gang was granted a 12-year prison sentence.
Two other members also received prison sentences of nine years and two months, while another will spend the next six years behind bars.
However, Tomás Pantlík, was found guilty of operating an illegal alcohol storehouse and was convicted of abetting an organised criminal group, for which he was handed a three-year suspended sentence.
Czech police first embarked upon an investigation into the bootleg alcohol ring in autumn 2012 after more than 40 people died of methanol poisoning and dozens were injured after drinking contaminated alcohol.
Dozens of suspects were detained as a result of the investigations and several million litres of illegal alcohol, that had not been taxed, was confiscat